MILLBURN, NJ - The story of Cinderella and her prince seems to have ongoing appeal for all ages. The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical glitters and shines with strong voices and sharp choreography by Joann M. Hunter. Director Mark Hoebee has brought a loving, affectionate touch to this production. Artistic Director Mark S.Hoebee brings affectionate insights to this production,
The play leans towards contemporary interpretation, especially when we hear Prince Topher (Billy Harrigan Tighe) proclaiming “Me, Who Am I?” early on. Tighe has a handsome, boyish charm with blends well with Ashley Blanchet as Cinderella. Her touching, “In My Own Little Corner” displays her soaring soprano.
Then we have the wicked stepmother, Madame, played with by Dee Hoty. Her sly asides often steal the show. Her two daughters Gabrielle (Rose Hemingway) and Charlotte (Angel Lin) are up to their own antics and distractions.
Christopher Sieber as Sebastian attempts to control the prince by keeping all the income in the castle rather than sharing with the peasants who are starving or driven out of their homes. Andrew Kober as Jean-Michel is a rabble rouser who tries to protect the citizens. (He’s also smitten with Gabrielle, bringing another love interest into the plot.) It’s easy to see that ultimately love and kindness win out in the end.
Donna English is a fetching Marie, beginning as a beggar woman, but soon revealed as a fairy godmother to the mistreated Cinderella. Michael Wayne Worly as Lord Pinkleton adds presence and authority as he introduces various events in a strong baritone.
Stunning costumes by William Ivey Long and scenic design by Anna Louizos take us from a forest to Cinderella's home to the castle entrance as we follow he tale of the prince's search for who will wear the glass slipper. The production is a welcome treat for the holidays.
Performances of 'Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella' continue through Dec. 29 at the Paper Mill Playhouse on Brookside Drive in Millburn. For tickets, call 973-376-4343 or visit PaperMill.org.